The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed the appeal by one Isyaku Muazu of Rijiyar Lemo in Fagge Local Government Area of Kano State who was sentenced to life imprisonment for raping a seven-year-old girl by a high court in Jigawa State.
The accused, through his lawyer, Garba Abubakar, appealed against the decision of the high court at the Court of Appeal, Kaduna Division, but the appeal was dismissed and the high court judgement delivered by Honourable Justice Amina Audi Wambai was upheld.
This was disclosed in a press statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the Jigawa State Ministry of Justice, Zainab Baba Santali.
According to the statement, the appellant, who was an iron-scavenger, was sued for rape and act of gross indecency before the state high court for allegedly luring his victim on 30th July 2015 to an uncompleted building at Kiri town, where he pinned her down and raped her.
To prove the case, the prosecutor called forth four witnesses and tendered four exhibits, Exhibits A, B, D1 & D2.
At the end of the trial, the High Court found that the prosecutor was able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, as such the accused was sentenced to life imprisonment in accordance with Section 283 of the Penal Code Law of Jigawa State.
He also bagged four years imprisonment with an option of N10,000 fine for being found guilty for act of gross indecency.
According to the statement, the appellant further appealed the decision of the Court of Appeal and filed an appeal to the Supreme Court arguing that the judgment of the court is wrong and legally flawed as the prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and the appellant’s right to fair-hearing was breached.
The statement, on the other hand, disclosed that “the counsel to the respondent and the Attorney-General of Jigawa State, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu argued that the judgment of the court of appeal is in accordance with the law.”
In his ruling, the Supreme Court jurist, Honourable Justice Helen Ogunwumiju JSC, dismissed the appeal and agreed with the submission of Honourable Attorney-General that the procedure followed by the trial court in determining the charge against the appellant was valid and flawless, stating that the appellant’s right to fair hearing was not breached.
Thus, the apex court upheld the life imprisonment conviction on the appellant for raping a seven-year-old girl and four years imprisonment and a fine of N10,000 for the offence of act of gross indecency.